*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline.
ARS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) located in Peoria, Illinois.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. The goal of the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) Research Unit is to enhance food safety by conducting research to develop strategies to control fungal disease in cereal crops and eliminate the risk of harmful fungal contaminants in food and feed.
Research Project: Climate change is predicted to increase crop susceptibility to mycotoxin producing fungal pathogens. Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will conduct research to understand how weather compromises cereal crop defenses and identify strategies to enhance the resilience of crop disease resistance without affecting yield. Specific objectives of the project include: 1) evaluate differences in disease development under variable environmental conditions, 2) conduct comparative metabolomic analyses of the plant and Fusarium pathogen during disease development, and 3) identify differences in metabolomic responses that result in greater disease and/or mycotoxin contamination. The participant will have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team of mission driven scientists equipped with cutting edge research technology. The participant will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise in all aspects of research from conceptual design, hands on experimentation, data analysis, interpretation, to writing peer reviewed manuscripts and communicating with stakeholders. Additionally, the participant will be given the opportunity to expand on their professional networks through attendance of scientific meetings.
Learning Objectives: The participant will expand their knowledge on the scientific method and how to apply this method to address agricultural problems. They will gain expertise in characterizing plant-pathogen interactions and understanding host susceptibility and Fusarium pathogen virulence factors. The objective of this learning experience is to prepare the participant to be a competitive candidate with the necessary independent and collaborative skills to successfully contribute to the next generation of research scientists.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Martha Vaughan (email@example.com). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall 2021. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The participant will receive an annual stipend of $66,800. A health insurance and travel allowance will be provided.
Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) only.
ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.
Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email USDA-ARS@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.